I’ve been busy finishing a book. I need some advice. Well, maybe.
You know how I am. I find my answers in the middle of asking for advice.
All the same, here you go:
My main character works in the medical profession, under the guidance of a high-ranking physician. For the first half of the book, he addresses this physician as “Dr. Smith”. When circumstances change (and they do, big time)… the doctor becomes a close friend and asks to be addressed by his first name (we’ll call him “Bob” for example) outside of work.
It only feels awkward to me because he doesn’t become “Bob” until the middle of the story.
And the doctor was his mentor.
Plus the doctor is much older, so there’s a father figure thing too.
Should I explain the “call me Bob” thing in some dialogue and refer to him as “Bob” instead of “Dr. Smith” from that point on?
Bob and I went down the diner to get a five-dollar milkshake. To our surprise, Dr. Phil was there too. “Whatcha doin’ here?” Dr. Phil asked. “Dr. Smith and I wanted to see if that five-dollar milkshake was any good,” John replied. “Dunno if it’s worth five dollars,” Dr. Phil said, rubbing his shiny pate. “But it’s pretty friggin’ good.”
Or continue to call him “Dr. Smith” unless the main character is speaking to him? In which case he can pull something like:
John handed Dr. Smith the plunger and asked, “You sure you know how to fix a toilet, Bob? We could call a plumber.” Dr. Smith waved him off. “It’s a toilet. How much different can it be from the human colon?” John had his doubts. There was a reason they had maintenance on speed-dial.
I’ve been told I over-think. There’s my mind on coffee.